The closing sessions at the Marketing Innovation Summit for B2B at San Francisco’s AT&T Park examined best practices for creative and landing pages and account-based marketing (ABM) case studies.
Demandbase’s Sarah Nels, an ad campaign strategy manager, took on the creative and landing pages best practices topic. She opened her presentation by posing the question “Why is B2B marketing different from B2C?”
Up until recently, B2B marketers only had the hand-me-down marketing technologies from B2C with which to work. Times have changed. The average B2B company now has more than 17 marketing tech apps in its stack. However, even with better tech to spend on, B2B marketers have not been able to do a lot with it. What’s required is a bit of a rethink, with 85 percent of website visitors not known as potential customers and 80 percent of visitors abandoning the site within five seconds, according to Nels.
Where should B2B firms focus? Marketers need to ask themselves what they care about, what’s the desired result and how do they measure and improve over time, according to Nels.
Per Nels, the website is still the No. 1 marketing tool for B2B businesses. But marketers need to find out if their blogs work well for SEO and whether form fills are not worthy of being called sales qualified leads (SQLs) or marketing qualified leads (MQLs).
Her basic answer was that “less is more.” Streamline content, emphasizing better quality over quantity. Use less code on the website and less infrastructure. Include fewer overall pages on the site. Be strategic and thoughtful about content, Nels added. For creative, it is best to be exact and brief. “The less you say, the more people say,” Nels proposed. With less to say, high quality imagery grows in importance. Nels advocated using images that competitors don’t use in order to stand out.
Coming in for a landing page
Regarding landing page best practices, continuity between creative and landing pages is critical. For example, make messaging, look and feel between ebooks and the home page the same, Nels said. Have a thumbnail of the ebook on the home page when customers navigate away from the ebook landing page. But B2B marketers should still personalize the experience. In the case of net new customers, don’t just show the same pages, but give them a blend of product and solution pages.
On landing pages designed for conversion, give enough content to tease a form fill. Or put the content on the thank-you page after conversion. Secondary and tertiary content in the nav bar and other content flow patterns will keep customers engaged.
Something quizzically called Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) had the audience perking their ears to attention at the end of the session. It turns out to be what Google created to track unique URLs. Nels said if you tag your campaigns with UTM parameters you can make accurate determinations. Content trackable by UTM include social media posts to find out if LinkedIn is better than Twitter; analyzing which email newsletter works best; and testing banner ads to see which specific companies visited.
What we can learn from Dell and others
In the last session of the conference, Steve Sanchez, Demandbase customer success manager, summarized three different case studies on Infoblox, RGIS and Dell.
For Infoblox, the customer instituted ABM to measure performance of marketing and sales and attract and engage key accounts. Once the key accounts were identified, Infoblox used ABM to guide them to specific funnels and determine relevant content to resurface. ABM allowed compilation of an account of 2000 customers to close in 12 months. This required establishing ABM with 80 percent of activity targeted at prospects and 20 percent at current customers. This resulted in a 56 percent increase in “account lift,” which is defined as companies coming to the site when they had not visited in the prior 30 days or were now engaging more heavily.
At RGIS, an inventory solution technology company, the challenge was how to use ABM to reach new utility customer segments outside its core of retail and healthcare with a limited budget, little digital experience and a static website. According to Sanchez, its state of ABM was an evolving strategy that followed the crawl-walk-run progression. RGIS began to crawl by compiling its account list of high value customers and spoon feeding ABM derived data to sales. To overcome its limited experience, an ABM consultant came onboard to expedite the process. The RGIS site had to be redesigned and landing page forms shortened. The results of its first email campaign to utilities resulted in only two form fill submits but ABM charted 47 visits from utilities that did not fill out forms. Overall, awareness increased 237 percent, according to Sanchez.
Dell experienced different challenges. It required an ABM customization for B2B without affecting its very significant B2C traffic. Content had to be surfaced for B2B. Using Demandbase solutions, Dell conducted a personalization A/B test on 1 percent of its site traffic with three non-core segments. Half of the 1 percent of site traffic received personalization and the other half received no personalization. Because Dell.com generates over a million page views a day, within two weeks, the results were in. They showed a 30 percent increase in revenue, 20 percent higher content engagement and higher clickthrough rates for targeted accounts.
Next week, B2BNN will publish a primer on creating top-notch landing pages. Look for it!